If you're in the Southern Hemisphere like me (Australia), you will know it is getting colder and we are knocking on winters door. I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of some of my top tips to stay healthy and happy this winter☃️☃️
1. Stay Warm. I know it sounds obvious doesn't it, but as apart of eastern philosophy staying warm is crucial in colder weather, in particular keep the back of your neck, lower back,, knees, abdomen and feet warm and rugged up as much as you can. This ensures that your kidney energy (which is directly linked to your life force) stays warm, secure and doesn't become depleted, as this energy is very susceptible to cold weather. You might even want to use heat bags or hot water bottles to ensure you are staying warm when sitting on the couch, at your desk or jumping into bed.
2. Eat Warming Foods & Drinks. This goes hand in hand with the first point. But during the colder weather it is important to each more warming, nourishing and easy to digest foods. This not only supports your digestive fire during the colder weather but also your overall health and immune function. When I say warming foods, I don't mean spicy foods. But energetically warm foods (see a list below) and also well cooked and heated foods. Eating cold food- especially directly out of the fridge can cause havoc on your digestive fire and system especially if you already have troubles with it. Soups, stews, pressure cooking or slow cooking are excellent for winter! If anything ensure your food is out of the fridge a hour or so before you eat it so that it is at room temperature. This also goes for the drinks that you are drinking, ensure that you are drinking your water either at room temperature or warm whenever possible and include herbal teas into your diet. Also remember, eat seasonal, if possible, these foods are more nutrient dense, fresher, taste better and is better for the environment.
Warming foods and herbs:
Vegetables in season in winter:
Fruits in season in winter:
3. Hydration. In the colder months it can be easy to drink less water, sometimes we forget, we think we don't need to drink or we feel less thirsty because it's not hot weather. It's important that even through winter you ensure that you are properly hydrated, this allows your immune system (and all bodily functions) to work correctly and keep you in optimal health. When drinking water, please ensure that it is filtered or spring water. As our tap water unfortunately is full of chemicals, additives and nasties. My favourite water filter is the EPIC WATER FILTER. You can find them HERE. (Use code GETEPIC for 10% off)
4. Keep Moving. I am the first to admit that when it's cold I want to move less. But to ensure you are not causing and stiffness or stagnation in your body it is important to keep it moving. For winter, I recommend for gentle movement such as yoga, tai chi, walking or qi gong, these move the qi of the body, warm the body and prevent stagnation occurring which ensures your body is warm, energised and nourished.
5. Sleep. Again, I know this feel obvious, but ensure you are getting enough rest/ sleep. Sleep is of the most importance for our bodies, it allows out body to heal, detox and recover from the day and in doing that, allows all bodily functions to work at optimal health. It also ensures that your nervous system and adrenals have the opportunity to unwind and renew from any stressors of the day. Try going to be earlier and sleeping in whenever possible. Ideally setting and rising with the sun as much ( or as closely) as possible.
6. Let the light in. During the day, make sure to let the natural light in. Sunshine during the day helps support our mood and immune system. At night time try to avoid too much screen time, and use blue light filters on computers, tvs and smart phones wherever possible. Also if possible I would suggest using yellow or red globes in any lamps you may be using at night or even candle light or you can even get yellow glasses for night to block out any blue lights! This is amazing for regulating the brain, nervous system, immune system and circadian rhythm. Try to also get approx 20-30 mis of direct sunlight on your arms, legs and chest once a day if possible for optimal vitamin D during winter.
7. Self Reflection. Just like the weather itself, winter is a great time for self reflection and to turn inwards. Quiet time writing, meditating, reading or other soul nourishing activities. Your inner being comes to the surface during winter. Listen, take notes and understand yourself better.
8. Top up with supplements. Botanicals and supplements can assist with supporting all of your bodily functions and in this instance, your immune system. Some supplements/products that I recommend for this are: (click the names to see more)
Medicinal mushrooms- a nourishing blend of medicinal mushrooms that support immunity, gut health, hormonal function and the nervous system. (Use code STEFANI for 10% off)
Qi-QI blend is a beautifully crafted formula using the most revered Qi tonics of the Daoist tradition that work to strengthen the Lungs, Spleen, and surface immunity known as Wei Qi. (Use code STEFANI for 10% off)
Ashwaghandha- A very well-known and highly revered Ayurvedic rasayana (tonic herb) used for centuries. Use Ashwagandha capsules to support your reproductive hormones, promote healthy sleep patterns and support a healthy stress response in your body.(Use code STEFANI for 10% off)
Shilajit- a powerful and proven immune system modulator, Shilajit helps to create balance and harmony in the immune system full of vitamins and minerals that detoxifies the blood and body, fights inflammation and aids nutrient absorption.
CBD oil- CBD and the cannabinoid system significantly affect almost every component of the immune response, this is due to CBD being an immunomodulator. CBD is also a powerful antioxidant, neuro protective (protects the brain) and much much more. (Use code STEFANI for 20% off)
Herbal supplements- These herbal supplements are formulated with the BEST of the best ingredients and with the upmost love and care. Some of the products I would recommend for winter are the Guardian Bundle, Microbiome Tea, Zinc Plus, Microbiome Guard, Not Your Average Probiotic, Immuneshroom, Adrenal Recovery, Liver Juice, Mood Juice, Brain Juice, Elderberry Immune Elixir & Mighty Minerals.
Gut cleanse & restore - (Qenda Ultimate Fibre)- Gut health is directly linked to your immune health. So why not add in a product that will cleanse, clear and restore your gut health all in one. This is an amazing product containing a balance of nutrient dense herbs that are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, enzymes and adaptogenic herbs. Ultimate Fibre successfully deals with conditions such as leaky gut, food sensitivities, skin and digestive tract issues, parasites and fungus overgrowth. Ultimate Fibre also promotes deep sleep and greater energy. This product is top shelf, consisting of wild crafted, certified organic herbs, that provide optimal gut health. And as the vast majority of the population is not having the correct amount of bowel movements and thus has sluggish or constipated bowels, this product is a MUST!